Rehabilitation and occupational therapy for low vision

According to the Turkey Disability Survey, people with complete or partial vision loss or impairment in one or both eyes are visually impaired. Low vision is defined as a person whose visual function persists after standard refractive corrections and whose visual acuity is less than 6/18 (20/60), whose vision can only be used to plan and perform a task. Vision, which includes many components and functions; It is a sense that has a fundamental role in cognitive, emotional and motor development. Especially severe visual loss is associated with motor behavior, and this can lead to retardation of development in various areas. Vision problems in children affect the level of social skills by causing difficulties in activities such as school, social life and home life, commuting from school to home, writing and reading skills, going up and down stairs, and passing obstacles such as sidewalks.

Social skills are even more important skills for individuals with impaired visual function. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate the social competence of people whose visual function is affected and to implement interventions accordingly. According to the researches, it is thought that personality traits such as feelings of inferiority, anxiety, lack of self-confidence, panic when faced with different situations, fear of being watched, fear of falling and hitting can be seen more frequently in visually impaired people. Accordingly, it should be considered that these existing qualities may be effective in the self-development and social participation of individuals with low vision. In the light of this information, problems in the subjects of self-efficacy, coping skills, self-confidence, starting and ending a conversation, expressing their wishes and complaints in public, weakness in peer relations, anger, aggression, anxiety, introversion, social anxiety and social competence of individuals whose visual function is affected. They have difficulties in living and coping.

Individual-centered and activity-based occupational therapy and rehabilitation interventions are planned and applied in conditions that cause low vision such as hereditary retinal dystrophies, retinitis pigmentosa, retinopathy of prematurity, albinism, cerebral palsy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. In intervention programs; in order to increase the ability of the individual to use his or her remaining vision level functionally in daily life, productivity and leisure activities from infancy to old age;

Developing visual perception,
Safe mobility skills
Training to increase independence in activities of daily living,
Training to increase focus, object tracking and hand-eye coordination,
Strategies to increase productivity at home, school and workplace,
Environmental regulations with appropriate lighting and contrast,
Family education is carried out

In this article, it has been tried to give brief information about low vision rehabilitation based on general and scientific foundations. It is aimed to help individuals who have similar problems about what kind of help they should get. I recommend that you contact your occupational therapist for more detailed information and assistance.

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